ApprenticeshipsManagementNews

Learner story: Confidence and self-belief to set up Capita’s Black Employee Network

By February 23, 2021 May 18th, 2021 No Comments

Adebimpe Makinde, Senior Consultant, Government Services at Capita & Co-Founder of the Black Employee Network

When she joined the Capita Academy Accelerate programme in October 2019, Adebimpe couldn’t have predicted just how much the experience would help her grow her leadership capability and give her the confidence and self-belief required to co-found and grow Capita’s Black Employee Network. 

Adebimpe Makinde saw the Accelerate programme as an opportunity to develop her leadership and management skills in order to grow in her current role; and to prepare her for future promotion opportunities.

The opportunity to join the 13-month programme funded via Capita’s Apprenticeship Levy really stood out for Adebimpe as ‘a different way of learning and a practical way to learn on the job’. Knowing that she could fit her studies in alongside her role and still maintain her home life and parental responsibilities really appealed to Adebimpe.

A huge leap forward in confidence and self-belief

Adebimpe acknowledges that the programme has already had a significant impact on her day-to-day performance. She finds herself stepping up and taking ownership, where in the past she wouldn’t have done so. Despite not having any direct reports, Adebimpe has taken what she has learnt from the programme and put it into practice when managing stakeholders. Being able to understand different leadership styles and communication techniques has developed her personal drive and determination, negotiation skills, and her presence amongst peers and seniors.

Using new skills to launch and grow the Capita Black Employee Network

Whilst on the programme, and driven by external events in the Black Lives Matter movement,  Adebimpe’s manager Carey approached her about an opportunity to take the lead in setting up a Black Employee Network Group within the Government Services Division. Adembipe jumped at the chance to get involved and, using techniques learnt from the communication unit of the Accelerate programme, she created the strategy for attracting members to the group.

The Network was launched initially as a divisional group, but very quickly gained interest and kudos from across the organisation. It soon became a Capita-wide network with more than 60 members. As a co-founder of the network, Adebimpe runs weekly meetings. These have been broken into separate workstreams, all in line with the Golden Thread of the organisation, a concept introduced in the early stages of the Accelerate programme.

When reflecting about her experience in setting up the network and becoming its leader, Adebimpe recognises that so many of the concepts, techniques and approaches covered in the course were put into practice during this process. Her manager acknowledges that is a real testament to her commitment to learning; effectively absorbing and using the new skills she has acquired.

Back to her role as a Senior Consultant, Adebimpe has worked hard to grow and develop, taking on more responsibility and is working hard to achieve a promotion within the year!

Keys to success: Time management and manager support

As an inherently organised person, Adembipe found that by being structured and strict with her time enabled her to stay focused on track and feel assured that she was meeting the expectations of her role and her development. ‘Lockdown helped in a way, as the time that was previously spent commuting was converted to learning time.’

Adebimpe also recognised that ‘having an incredibly supportive manager was hugely helpful. Providing me with opportunities and having belief in my abilities really drove me to succeed.”

Advice for people considering joining the Capita Academy Accelerate programme?

‘Go for it! It’s easy to put it off due to time worries. But the course is well structured, broken down into bitesize activities and a great life and learning experience. There is no right or wrong and you can adapt it to your own style. It has truly helped me both professionally and personally.’